Young, ambitious and highly talented musicians and music students from Europe and around the world form a 5-piece band for one year. The band is regularly taught by the most famous and successful international jazz musicians. This one-year program is a career boost for the participants and supports them in developing their own and outstanding voice as artists. The 4-6 training phases per year last about one week and consist of various modules, such as workshops, individual lessons, concerts and recording sessions.
The program is perfect for those who are already established in their home music scene and want to stay in touch with it while at the same time expanding their international network and deepening their artistic skills.
The training phases are free of charge for the band members. The prerequisite for membership in the Gutenberg Jazz Collective is the successful completion of an audition.
Interview with Sebastian Sternal
What´s the artistic concept behind GJC?
The Gutenberg Jazz Collective is a top-rate ensemble of young jazz musicians, who get the opportunity to deepen their artistic skills in a one year program. This happens through interaction and inspiration of the ensemble among each other, and also through encounters with established jazz greats: They will coach the ensemble and develop the artistic fingerprint of each band member.
In addition, there will be an enormous networking effect for all participants - and of course synergy effects will be created along the way, which will strengthen the jazz scenes in Mainz and Rhineland-Palatinate.
What exactly happens during a workshop session?
The Collective will meet for several one week sessions in Mainz. Every session starts with rehearsals partly among themselves, partly under my guidance. This also includes the preparation of the guest artist´s music who joins after a few days to work intensively with the ensemble for 3 days. At the end of each working phase the guest artist and the Collective will perform together live on stage. The guest artist and the Collective also meet the regular students of the jazz department, thus providing many moments for mutual inspiration.
What a GJC band member can expect from the program?
All band members have the opportunity to deepen their artistic skills in working with top-class fellow musicians and to gain valuable impulses in their encounters with established jazz greats. The program is structured in a way that makes it possible to maintain contacts with their local scenes while still developing and strengthen an international network - an ideal combination!
What opportunities arise from the program - for the musicians and the city of Mainz?
There is a long jazz tradition in Mainz, especially recently it has developed greatly and has become more and more visible. Great musicians study at the School of Music of JGU Mainz and its jazz department, many among them decide to stay in Mainz after their studies, thus becoming a part of the scene. This is how the young jazz collective „Tonkult” was created. Through the Gutenberg Jazz Collective (and the whole Jazz Campus Mainz program) Mainz should appear even more on the international jazz map.
May 10th - 16th 2021
Warm Up and Come together
July 7th-14th 2021
The drummer´s musical inspiration and drive was sparked by listening to musical legends ranging from Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, and Antonio Carlos Jobim, to The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix. His exposure to multiple genres of music and the types of playing required for each enabled him to develop his foundation and understanding of music and planted the seeds from which his own varied approach to playing grew.
Ballard began playing drums at the age of 14 and while attending community college, began the journey of being a musician, playing in college ensembles and gigs around Santa Cruz and the Northern California region. At the age of 25, Ballard began an educational journey no college could match. He went on the road for eight months annually from 1988 to 1990 with Ray Charles, backing one of music’s biggest stars, perfecting his time feels and tempos from playing with Charles nightly on the bandstand for three years.
In 1990 Ballard moved to New York and jumped into the transformative scene that was developing there at the time. He began collaborating with Kurt Rosenwinkel, Brad Mehldau, Mark Turner, Joshua Redman, and Ben Allison, among others who were mixing jazz tradition with their own influences, ranging from Middle Eastern rhythms to electronica and modern hip hop.
Ballard’s past and present recording sessions and touring associates read like a who’s who of jazz. To name a select few: Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Joshua Redman, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and Brad Mehldau. His present work continues with the Brad Mehldau Trio, as co-leader of collective group FLY (featuring Mark Turner, Ballard, and Larry Grenadier) and with his own groups The Jeff Ballard Trio and Jeff Ballard Fairgrounds.
He is one of the most renowned bassists of contemporary jazz. For three decades he has been a world-renowned soloist and sideman. His tone: immediately recognizable. His game: sensitive, imaginative and full of creative curiosity.
He has long been a member of the bands of pianist Brad Mehldau and guitarist Pat Metheny, and has collaborated on numerous albums by renowned artists including Paul Motian, Charles Lloyd, Enrico Rava, Danilo Perez, Chris Potter, Joshua Redman and Kurt Rosenwinkel. With his own trio Fly he released three albums and also appeared on the five albums of his wife, the well-known singer-songwriter Rebecca Martin.
"I am very aware of the balance between a studied approach to music and a more original, instinctive understanding of the way music works," Grenadier explains. "Having access to technology is useful for being able to communicate and express yourself musically. But music is about intuition and emotion. Compassion, strength, flexibility and perseverance are all important qualities when making music, but the most important thing is the ability to listen."
August 30th - September 4th 2021
Grammy-nominated saxophonist, composer and producer Ben Wendel was born in Vancouver, Canada and grew up in Los Angeles. He currently lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.Highlights of his career include tours, performances and recordings with artists such as Tigran Hamasyan, Antonio Sanchez, Gerald Clayton, Eric Harland, Taylor Eigsti, Linda May Han Oh, Moonchild, Louis Cole, Daedelus, Snoop Dogg and Prince.
Ben is a founding member of the Grammy-nominated band Kneebody.
As a composer, he received an ASCAP Jazz Composer Award, the Chamber Music America "New Works Grant" 2008, 2011 and 2017 and was awarded the Victor Lynch-Staunton Award of the Canada Council For The Arts. He was also co-composer of the film score for John Krasinski's adaptation of David Foster Wallace's "Brief Interviews With Hideous Men".
In addition, Ben collaborated with conductor Kent Nagano on a number of concerts for the "Festspiel Plus" in Munich. From 2008 to 2015, he produced a cross-genre series at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, California.
Ben Wendel was the producer of the Grammy-nominated album "Life Forum" by pianist Gerald Clayton.
October, 23rd -30th 2021
For ten years, the uncompromising individualist Sullivan has been one of the hipsters of the music scene. The GRAMMY-winning artist received international recognition as a pianist and producer for his joint work on The Window (Mack Avenue, 2018) alongside multiple GRAMMY winner, singer and composer Cecile McLorin Salvant. His recordings Moments Preserved (Decca, 2018) and Aria (Impulse!, 2015), released as bandleaders, were acclaimed by critics and audiences.
Last year, Fortner was awarded in several categories in the DownBeat. He has worked with the likes of Wynton Marsalis, Paul Simon, Diane Reeves, Etienne Charles, John Scofield, Peter Bernstein ....
Whether as a soloist or as the conductor of an orchestra, Fortner grasps harmony and rhythmic ideas with inexhaustible curiosity and incorruptible clarity.
Growing up in New Orleans, Fortner began playing the piano at the age of 7. He received his Bachelor of Music from the Oberlin Conservatory and his Master of Music in Jazz Performance from the Manhattan School of Music (MSM). He has held masterclasses at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), Purdue University, Lafayette Summer Music Workshop, Belmont University, and the Oberlin Conservatory.
January, 23rd - 30th 2022
The singer was born in London in 1941. Her concerts with Roland Kirk in the late 1960s at London's Ronnie Scott's Club years are legendary.
She performed with Mike Westbrook and Michael Garrick, sang in the ensembles of John Surman, Kenny Wheeler, Mike Gibbs and John Taylor
In 1971 she was voted best singer in the Melody Maker Jazz Poll and recorded her own album "Edge of Time",
In the late 1970s, together with pianist John Taylor and trumpeter Kenny Wheeler, she founded the group Azimuth, described by The Times's Richard Williams as "one of the most imaginatively conceived and at the finest balance of all contemporary chamber jazz groups."
Azimuth has released several albums on the ECM label (the first three of which were re-released as a CD box set).
She wrote lyrics to compositions by Ralph Towner and brazilian composers Egberto Gismonti and Ivan Lins.
Her CD 'Like Song, Like Weather' with pianist John Taylor was recorded by Don Heckman in the Los Angeles Times as "... an excellent example of state-of-the-art, imaginative, practically undefined singing".
The workshops last about one week each - of which the guest coach is present for at least three days.
Corona: We always comply with the Corona guidelines of the federal government and the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. If the workshop is not possible in the planned form at the planned time, we will contact all registered participants to discuss alternative options.
How to become a member of Gutenberg Jazz Collective (GJC)?
- We are looking for the best musicians/music students with strong personalities and open minds.
- GJC has 5 ensemble members and is renewed every year.
- The participation in all workshops is free of charge, but obligatory for all selected GJC members.
- Accommodation will be covered, travel allowance is possible
- GJC Lineup is different every year. For 2021 we prefer applications for the following instruments:
Vocals, Sax, Piano, Bass, Drums.*
- Age limit is 35.*
(* If you play none of the above-mentioned instruments or if you are older than 35, but deeply convinced that you should be part of GJC, please apply as well – we might permit some exceptions!)
FIRST STEP (Upload until February 21, 2021)
a.) Motivation letter: Tell us why you want to become a member of GJC (PDF)
b.) CV - Education and artistic career: What´s your musical background and experience (PDF)
c.) Provide two recordings, either audio (mp3, wav) or video (all formats) - preferably your own originals. Sheets of music should also be submitted (PDF)
d.) Play YOUR interpretation of a composition or motive provided by us (for 2021: https://seafile.rlp.net/f/b55a780e43a94cdcbadb/?dl=1) and send us a recording (Video, all formats)
- All Files have to be named like Surname_Name_Title.xyz
- The CV must include your full name, postal address, email address and phone number.
- Please upload your files here: https://seafile.rlp.net/u/d/50b3c264e8c542efad42/ until February 21, 2021.
After the deadline we will explore the applications and decide who will be invited for the second step. This will be announced by March 8, 2021.
SECOND STEP (Online Audition on April 8th and 9th, 2021)
Update April 1s, 2021t:
As the stately regulations become stricter every day due to the Corona pandemic, we had to switch to an all online format for our auditions.
We know that an online audition is only the second best choice and we would have loved to have had you ALL on site - needless to say! But we're making the best out of the situation the pandemic has given us.
Let's look at it this way: Since the audition is now online for all applicants, the requirements are the same for everyone.
Below you will find our final planning situation: There is a part that we ask you to submit before the audition (Part A) and there will be the online audition itself (Part B).
- Before the audition: Upload until April 7 at 1 pm CEST -
We already got to know you in the first round. You impressed us - that's why you are also in the second round! Now we want to get to know you even better before the online audition: Please upload a video until April 7 at 1pm CEST with a solo performance of „Bemsha Swing“ (Thelonious Monk).
No edits please, Smartphone quality is sufficient. We recommend you to not choose a close-up setting, where we can only see your hands on the keys, for example.
We want to experience you and the instrument and we want to experience you WITH the instrument.
File Name: Surname_Name_Instrument.mp4
Length: max. 3 minutes
- Live-Online-Audition via Zoom: April 8 & 9 -
The Live-Online-Audition will have an individual part and one part together with other applicants.
1. Individual audition (total time 25 min):
Performance: “This is me!” 5 min
Interactive Task: "I'm creative - right now and on the spot!". 10 min
Interview: “Let´s have a conversation!” 10 min
Performance: “This is me!”
In these five minutes you are the director. You choose with which music we get to know you best. You can play solo or with your duo partner or your own band. You can play originals or other music from your repertoire, standards … whatever.
Present your uniqueness, your personality and charisma. Show the jury who you are!
Interactive Task: "I'm creative - right now and on the spot!"
Interactive task means dealing spontaneously with an improvisational task provided by us on the spot. This could also be an ear training or sight reading exercise – we´ll see.
Interview: “Let´s have a conversation!”
The jury will ask you questions and would like to get to know you in a short conversation.
2. Audition with other applicants
Announcement of the Duo/Trio constellation: According the schedule
Preparation time as a Duo/Trio in a Zoom meeting specially set up by us for the duo/trio constellation approx. 45 min
Duo/Trio Concert: “I´m able to cooperate and interact!” 10 min
For this task we will team you up with other applicants, either in a Duo or a Trio constellation. You will then have about 45 min to join together online and prepare a joint presentation of max. 10 minutes duration. We know that sound quality and especially the latency of the online format will make it difficult to play together directly. BUT: There are other ways to show how you spontaneously do something together online as a Duo / Trio. Be creative and work well together!
The ensemble constellations for Duo/Trio concert will be announced on the spot.
After you have successfully completed both steps, you will become a member of the Gutenberg Jazz Collective.
For any questions on the application process, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Update April 3rd, 2021, 8:00 am:
Q: Is it allowed to do Part A - the recording of Bemsha Swing together with a duo partner/pianist, or should it be recorded completely solo / alone?"
A: "We prefer an unaccompanied / acappela solo version."
The jury members for Gutenberg Jazz Collective 2021 in alphabetical order:
- Sarah Chaksad (Composer, Saxophonist, Co-Leader Focusyear Jazzcampus Basel)
- Klaus Gasteiger (Artistic Advisor Jazz Campus Mainz, cultural manager, guitarist)
- Pablo Held (Composer, Pianist, Sub.-Prof. Jazz-Piano Hochschule für Musik Mainz)
- Eva Klesse (composer, percussionist, Prof. Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien)
- Wolfgang Muthspiel (composer, guitarist, Artistic Director Focusyear Jazzcampus Basel)
- Tineke Postma (composer, saxophonist, Conservatory Amsterdam)
- Sebastian Sternal (Composer, Pianist, Artistic Director Jazz Campus Mainz)